Voices from Russia

Thursday, 10 October 2013

10 October 2013. A Photo Essay. From the Russian Web… It’s Autumn!

00 It's Autumn! 01. Harrogate ENGLAND UK. 10.10.13

Harrogate (Borough of HarrogateNorth YorkshireYorkshire and the Humber Region) ENGLAND UK

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00 It's Autumn! 02. Crawford Notch NH USA. 10.10.13

Crawford Notch (Carroll/Coos Counties. Crawford Notch State Park) NH USA

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00 It's Autumn! 03. Krasnoyarsk Krai RF. 10.10.13

Krasnoyarsk Krai RF

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00 It's Autumn! 04. Potsdam GERMANY. 10.10.13

Potsdam (Bundesland Brandenburg) GERMANY

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00 It's Autumn! 05. Vail CO USA. 10.10.13

Vail (Eagle County) CO USA

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00 It's Autumn! 06. Stolby State Nature Reserve. Krasnoyarsk Krai RF. 10.10.13

Stolby State Nature Reserve. Krasnoyarsk Krai RF

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00 It's Autumn! 07. Tower Bridge. London ENGLAND UK. 10.10.13

Tower Bridge. London (Greater London Region) ENGLAND UK

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00 It's Autumn! 08. Pickering ENGLAND UK. 10.10.13

Pickering (Ryedale DistrictNorth YorkshireYorkshire and the Humber Region) ENGLAND UK

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00 It's Autumn! 09. Salem SD USA. 10.10.13

Salem (McCook CountySD USA

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00 It's Autumn! 10. Lakino. Krasnoyarsk Krai RF. 10.10.13

Night Harvesting, Lakino (Bolshemurtinsky Raion. Krasnoyarsk Krai) RF

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Sunday, 6 October 2013

Russia: Beware of Foodie-Bears!

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. Was it Your Turn to Lick the Spoon. 2012

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T-shirts in souvenir shops in Moscow’s Arbat tourist district read, “I’ve been to Russia, there are no bears”. The print mocks the popular stereotype that Russia’s all about endless cold winters, vodka, and bears have rescued a couple after a bear broke into their countryside home, attracted by the smell of fresh borshch. A patrol turned up in the early hours after a neighbour raised the alarm and found the couple hiding in their sauna, where they temporarily lived as their home was under renovation. Meanwhile, the bear enjoyed hot borshch in their garden. A warning shot was enough to scare the intruder back into the woods. No one was hurt, although the bear damaged the building. The couple said that they’d left the homemade borshch to cool on the porch and went to bed. They woke to “loud banging” and saw a bear breaking the windows of their glassed-in porch. Then, it got inside and treated himself to all the borshch, which was still hot and delicious. Often, people spotted bears looking for food around dachas in the area before, but happily, no one reported any attacks.

Although the case may seem funny to some Americans, but he who laughs last laughs best, as encounters between bears and humans are actually not that rare in the USA and Canada, and may far exceed those reported in Russia. Thus, recently, hungry grizzlies in Yellowstone National Park were really determined to share a meal with people. Since the area is popular with tourists, officials had to issue a warning after they recorded several bear attacks on visitors in the park straddling Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Officials with the park and two national forests that border it said that numerous recent sightings of bears seeking berries and other foods near roadways and popular trails prompted them to issue the advisory, which called on campers to take precautions like carrying bear spray and hiking in groups. Some 600 federally-protected grizzly bears wander around Yellowstone and its border areas. Each year in the region there are about five encounters between bears and humans that result in injuries. Fatal attacks are rare.

In recent years, conservationists said that climate change caused a decline in whitebark pines, which produce the nuts that are a food source for grizzlies and black bears, forcing them to roam around, starving and frustrated. Late summer and early fall are typical times for encounters, as bears begin to seek out more food to pack on pounds before going into winter hibernation. At the same time, summer is the peak tourist season for national park visitors. In July 2010, a grizzly killed a camper and injured two others in a national forest in Montana near Yellowstone. The following year, in separate attacks, bears fatally wounded two hikers. On 15 August, a grizzly wounded two hikers at Yellowstone, but a second pair of hikers warded off the bear with bear spray. The same day, a grizzly bit two biologists collecting grizzly habitat data in Idaho near the park. The scientists drove off the bear with bear spray.

Meanwhile, Nevada wildlife officials pressed local governments near Lake Tahoe to penalise residents for not having bear-proof trashcans, saying that existing regulations to address trash-raiding black bears are insufficient. The Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Nevada Department of Wildlife Director Tony Wasley told trustees that they could address the vast majority of human-bear conflicts by decreasing the availability of human garbage. He said, “Ultimately, total removal of human food sources as an attractant for bears is the only way to avoid these types of human-bear conflicts”. Wasley also thought that it would help matters if the district enforced existing laws that penalise residents for being careless with their trash. Local jurisdictions already have rules on the books to address problems posed by trash-raiding bears, but many residents don’t think that they go far enough.

In the Canadian province of Ontario, the bear population dangerously grew to an alarming number. According to a recent census by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, there are some 150,000 bears in Ontario; no one is entirely sure of really how many of them there are precisely. The bear population has increased every year since the cancellation of the spring bear hunt in 1999, and so has the number of incidents involving bears, including a vicious and unprovoked attack on a woman near Peterborough. Thus, some local activists favour an early season hunt.

In the northern part of the Canadian province of Manitoba, a polar bear chased and bit a man. Earlier this month, the bear chased Garett Kolsun whilst he was walking home after a night of celebrating with friends in Churchill. It cornered him on a porch, swiped at him with his paw, and sank its teeth into his hip until Kolsun said he managed to distract it with the light from his mobile, which allowed him to flee to safety. The Hudson Bay community has fame as the polar bear capital of the world, and it attracts tourists coming for at least one glimpse of the predator. Nevertheless, the animals pose a threat to residents, and when they’re captured, they’re kept in a holding facility that’s commonly referred to as the polar bear jail.

However, this particular offender got a new home in a Winnipeg zoo. Margaret Redmond, president of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, said that, within the next few weeks, the bear would be transported from Churchill to the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre. Redmond said that this would be the first polar bear from the wild to be housed at the facility, which the conservancy opened last year. On Saturday, Redmond said, “Otherwise, it was determined that he was going to be euthanised because he was such a danger”. His new home will eventually be part of a new four-hectare (10 acres) exhibit, due to open next June, that profiles northern Canada’s animals and its fragile environment. Redmond said that she hasn’t personally spoken with Kolsun about how he feels about the polar bear’s new home in Winnipeg, but she said that provincial officials talked with him before the decision was made. Kolsun suffered only a few superficial puncture wounds and scratches from the attack. Redmond said, “He feels very good about this option, he sees that this is an opportunity for the animal, rather than having to be euthanised, to serve as an ambassador to his species in what will ultimately be a very large and comfortable area for the bear”.

That was a lucky escape for the Canadian bear, but his black pal captured after it wandered through Athol MA wasn’t that lucky, as Massachusetts Environmental Police euthanised it. They caught the bear after it climbed a tree and police tranquilised it. A spokesman for the state environmental affairs office told the Athol Daily News that, after that, the bear couldn’t be released in New Hampshire or Vermont, as both states are holding black bear hunting season; they have an agreement with Massachusetts that any “chemically immobilized” animal can’t be released into the wild within 45 days of the season’s start. It’s not hunting season in Massachusetts until November. However, the spokesman said Environmental Police euthanised the bear, instead of releasing it, because the chemicals used to tranquilise it are potentially fatal to any hunter who might shoot the bear, then eat it.

Another black bear felt at home in Gatlinburg TN and was caught on camera walking the city’s streets, climbing up the steps of the local convention centre, and even following the crosswalk to cross the street. ABC News said that Tricia Alexander captured a video of the bear, then, posted it to her Facebook page. She was sitting in her car, but not everyone had the good sense to keep at a distance. As the bear made its way through the city’s streets, weaving in and out of restaurant-goers, people clamoured to come within just feet of it in order to get a good picture of with their mobile-phone cameras. Dr Marcy Souza of the University of Tennessee School of Veterinary Medicine told local ABC affiliate WATE, “Unfortunately, a lot of people in our society are getting more desensitised to wild animals, as we move more and more into this digital age, and we don’t actually get out into the woods, so, you don’t encounter these animals very frequently except for on TV. Although he looks cute and cuddly, they can actually be pretty fierce. That bear probably weighed somewhere in the range of 800 pounds (363 kilogrammes) would be my guess, and they can do some serious damage if he got cornered as he did in some of those situations”.

A commenter on Alexander’s Facebook post wrote that he works near where the video was shot and the bear “comes around all the time”. Alexander herself commented that she had another encounter with a bear on the streets of Gatlinburg in 1997 in a hotel parking lot. The abovementioned cases are just a few in a string of human-bear encounters registered in bear-inhabited communities, so their residents should better not banter about Russians and their hungry bears. The borshch-eating bear was at least decent and well-behaved… he finished his meal and left like an Englishman… with no goodbye.

5 October 2013

Voice of Russia World Service

http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_10_05/Russia-beware-of-foodie-bears-7537/

Thursday, 8 November 2012

8 November 2012. A Sad Fact about the Late Election…

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John Wiener of The Nation wrote the following:

If only white people had voted on Tuesday, Mitt Romney would’ve carried every state except for Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, according to the news media’s exit polls. Nationally, Romney won 59 percent of the white vote, a towering twenty-point margin over Obama (exit polls were cancelled in nineteen states by the consortium of news media that run them). The pattern isn’t limited to the South, with its history of racism and segregation. Even in the deepest blue states, white voters went for Romney… 53 percent in California, 52 percent in New York, 55 percent in Pennsylvania.

Liberals hoped that whites who opposed Obama in 2008 would learn toleration and acceptance of racial difference after four years with a black president in the White House. However, what happened was the opposite… Romney won 4 percent more of the white vote in 2012 than John McCain won in 2008. In New York and Wisconsin, Romney won 6 percent more of the white vote than McCain in 2008; in California and Florida, he won 7 percent more; in New Jersey, he won 8 percent more. Even in Massachusetts, where Obama’s margin of victory was 61 percent, Romney increased the Republicans’ proportion of the white vote by four percentage points over 2008.

http://www.thenation.com/blog/171093/bad-news-about-white-people-romney-won-white-vote-almost-everywhere

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The pattern is clear. White men went for Romney… that was accentuated amongst white rural men… and strongest of all amongst white men over 55. Most of all, Romney was the champion of the Anglo white male. Romney did NOT win a majority amongst white women… but his plurality amongst white men was so marked that it wiped that out.

I’ll be clear. I’ve heard the word “nigger” used once too often in my presence by white men who thought that I shared their hate and bile towards people who haven’t done a thing to hurt them. White men have drunk the Kool-Aid… and so-called “Born Again Christians” are the worst of the lot. Our Lord Christ would reject the whole bunch… no exceptions.

Look at the above map… the Anglo rural population swallowed the Grand Olde Pervert propaganda whole. The urban agglomerations where most of the American population lives rejected the Ayn Rand rubbish purveyed by Romney and Ryan.

We’re all in this together… that’s why socialism is the way to go. Either we all advance together or we all fall together. The rapine and theft by the Affluent Effluent has to end. Either that, or, we’ll have a revolution that’ll make 1917 look like a kid’s play…

BMD

 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Barack Obama Re-elected President of the USA… Neofascism Held Back

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 On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama, the Democratic Party candidate, was re-elected to a second term, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a tightly contested and divisive race that saw the candidates and their backers pour an estimated 2.5 billion USD (78.3 billion Roubles. 2 billion Euros. 1.6 billion UK Pounds) into the campaign. However, control of the US Congress remained split between Democrats and Republicans after nationwide elections for seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, meaning Obama could face continued fierce opposition to his legislative agenda in the Republican-controlled House, while the Senate majority remained in the Democrats’ hands.

Early Wednesday morning, in a spirited victory speech to a raucous crowd of supporters at his campaign headquarters in Chicago, Obama called for national unity, saying that with his re-election, “The task of perfecting our union moves forward. I’ve never been more hopeful about our future, and I ask you to sustain that hope”. Obama said he had spoken with Romney earlier in the evening and congratulated the former governor of Massachusetts and his running mate, Paul Ryan, on a “hard-fought campaign”, noting, “We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply, and we care so deeply about its future”.

Romney struck a conciliatory tone in his concession speech early Wednesday morning, telling supporters at his campaign headquarters in Boston that America couldn’t “risk partisan bickering and political posturing” at this critical point in the nation’s history, telling the crowd, “This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. This election is over, but our principles endure”. He added that his belief in his vision for turning around the American economy remained unshaken.

Earlier in the evening, the American media projected Obama to capture the key battleground state of Ohio and its 18 Electoral College votes, which helped push him over the needed 270 votes in the Electoral College to put him back in the White House. Several major American TV outlets projected the incumbent’s victory shortly before 23.30 EST (08.30 MSK 7 November 04.30 UTC 20.30 PST 15.30 AEST 7 November) Tuesday night. Shortly thereafter, Obama’s official Twitter feed posted the following Tweet, “This happened because of you. Thank you”. The networks projected Obama’s re-election after the president notched a string of projected victories in several tightly-contested and strategically-important states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire… states that were seen as key for Romney to win in his bid to unseat Obama.

CNN projected Obama’s lead over Romney in the Electoral College at 303-206, with Florida’s 29 electoral votes still on the table in a state race widely seen as too close to call as of early Wednesday morning. NBC News reported that exit polls showed that white male voters, as well as older voters, favoured Romney, whilst women and younger voters backed Obama. Citing the same exit polls, it also noted that Obama received overwhelming support among Latino and black voters.

Romney had spent Election Day on Tuesday campaigning in Ohio, a state hit hard in the American economic downturn where the Republican candidate had hoped to convince voters he was the right person to get the economy back on track. In a campaign that centred on the economy, Obama attacked Romney as seeking to give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans whilst slashing social programs aimed at the middle and lower classes. The president’s signature health care reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act, also played an important role in the 2012 race for the White House. Romney vowed to work to overturn the law on his first day in office, whilst Obama campaigned on the broadly popular aspects of the 2010 law, including a provision forbidding insurance companies from denying coverage to people due to pre-existing conditions.

Foreign policy largely took a backseat to domestic issues in the election, although Republicans repeatedly tried to paint Obama as a less-than-stellar friend of Israel and accused him of clumsy handling of American policy in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. Russia played a peripheral role in the campaign, though Romney notably called the Kremlin the USA’s “Number One Geopolitical Foe”, prompting Obama to accuse him of injecting a Cold War mindset into bilateral relations.

Arguably, the most significant wild card in the races was Hurricane Sandy, a massive storm that slammed the American East Coast just a week before Tuesday’s election, leaving more than 100 people dead and destroying property and infrastructure in states up and down the coast. Both candidates temporarily halted their campaigns in the storm’s deadly wake, but Obama took a hands-on role in the immediate recovery efforts, allocating federal emergency funds for states slammed by the storms and travelling to the frontline of the destruction to meet with victims of the hurricane. In the days following the storm, even New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, a high-profile surrogate for the Romney campaign, whose state bore the brunt of Sandy’s wrath, repeatedly praised Obama.

The bitter campaign was also the most expensive in American history. The independent non-profit Center for Responsive Politics estimated the cost of the race at about 2.5 billion USD, with funds coming in from the candidates’ campaigns, the Democratic and Republican Party committees, and an array of outside PACs. This flood of cash came in the aftermath of the January 2010 US Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, which allows corporations, unions, and issue advocacy organisations to spend unlimited amounts of money in support of or opposition to a candidate, as long as the spending is done independently of any candidate’s campaign.

7 November 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20121107/177251397.html

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